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Pulse oximetry

How to set up your service to work with NHS Volunteer Responders

The NHS Volunteer Responders programme is ideally placed to support with delivery of pulse oximeters to high-risk coronavirus (COVID-19) positive patients to enable them to monitor their blood oxygen levels. The scheme is extremely simple to use.

Referrals into the programme go live as soon as the referral is made, with local volunteers alerted through the app to ask them to pick up the equipment and drop it at the patient’s house.

To arrange for our volunteers to help with the delivery of pulse oximeters you will need to follow the steps below:

  1. Identify a central location in the local area where the oximeters can be collected from. Ideally this should be somewhere that volunteers will be able to access easily and safely, such as a GP practice, community pharmacy, fire station or police station. The staff there should be informed of the process for handing over oximeters to volunteers.
  2. Put the oximeters into packs together with any other information or equipment that you want to provide to the patient. Some areas are providing a Freepost addressed envelope in these packs so that patients or their carer/friend/family member can post back their oximeter once they no longer need it (and are no longer coronavirus positive).
  3. Ensure each pack includes the phone number of the virtual ward and instructions to the volunteer to call that number if they encounter any issues.
  4. Identify a single NHS email address that the virtual ward team will use to request volunteers. Using the same email address each time will give you access to a dashboard through the GoodSAM platform so that you can monitor and manage all your requests.
  5. The first time you make a request using this email address, you will be sent a verification email by GoodSAM. Please ensure that you check your emails for this verification, noting to check the junk folder if it has not arrived within 10 minutes.
  6. Please email before you make your first referral to let us know that you are planning to use the NHS Volunteer Responders programme to deliver oximeters in your area. We will send an alert to all volunteers in that locality ensuring they know the importance of these tasks and encouraging them to prioritise them.



Print entire guide Page last reviewed: 05 January 2021

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